Gilmore & Associates Inc. Presents: A Pallet-able Pagoda

Gilmore & Associates, Inc. has once again been offered the opportunity to participate in the global event, known as Park(ing) Day. Every year the team of G&A landscape architects and designers dedicate their creativity to the transformation of a single Philadelphia parking space into a public park for only one day. Friday, September 18th is the date when over fifty of these small interactive parks are expected to pop up throughout the streets of Philadelphia and hundreds will be created all over the world. The message: open spaces are critical to the quality of urban human habitat, and there is a need for more public open space.


The G&A park will again be located on 17th Street, between Market Street and Chestnut Street in Center City, just outside the Shops at Liberty Place. In the spirit of re-cycling, portions of the last years’ exhibits will be repurposed, and with the addition of some new pieces, will create an entirely new park. The park will feature re-purposed shipping pallets constructed into a large covered and curtained pagoda and several lounge chairs where passersby are welcome to sit and relax, strike up a conversation with a fellow Philadelphian, or unwind and join in some good ol’ fashioned fun playing one of the many games around. Last year’s hit, ‘Sustainability Jenga’, a large scale, modified Jenga game will be making a reappearance, as well as a new oversized checker board made from construction leftovers. Native grasses and plants will help soften the edges of the urban environment and provide a pleasing backdrop for what is sure to be an exciting day.

The goal is to create a space that will raise awareness of the importance of public spaces and also showcase the sustainable aspects of materials and the potential for creative re-use. There is an endless potential for the re-using, re-purposing, or recycling of many materials.

G&A’s park will feature a small sampling of this potential. The skids collected from a local warehouse are mostly made of wood that had already been labeled as scrap. Its use for the construction of the pallet pagoda and lounge chairs in the park represents its third or fourth life, who knows what it could be next. Scrap lumber and plywood will be used to create games and game boards. Left over pieces of pipe will be used to make curtain rods and an umbrella stand, and thrown away drop cloths will be turned into privacy drapes. These are just some of the many materials that are taken for granted, used for transport, or left over from larger projects or a demolished structure that will eventually end up in the trash. Bringing these products together in creative ways to provide a public outdoor space will invite discussion and provide insight into what sustainability actually is. Public open space is crucial everywhere, especially in our urban environments. It is also important to be aware of our habits and realize the potential for “trash” as a renewable and sustainable resource.


Stop by on September 18th and you’ll be surprised by the impact a small public green space, even one as small as 170 square feet, can make.